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Oil and Gas

Posted on: January 21, 2022

1.21.22 - Civitas Resources Extends Apology Following Jan. 14 Smoke Plume Event

Following the smoke plume incident on Jan. 14 at the Northwest Oil and Gas Pad, please see the following apology from the operator to the City Council and Broomfield Community. 

Additionally, the City and County of Broomfield anticipates a comprehensive, detailed package from the operator on Monday that will provide a detailed timeline of the event, a root cause analysis, equipment replacements and verifications, and process/procedural modifications to the shut-down and start-up protocol, which will include specific preemptive notifications to the City and County of Broomfield and North Metro Fire Rescue District. 

We have also been informed that the planned swab maintenance activities on the Livingston Pad scheduled to start have been postponed until further notice.

--- Civitas Apology to Broomfield Community --- 

Civitas Resources extends our sincere apology to the City and County of Broomfield community and organization for failing to clearly communicate the timeline of events before, during, and after the January 14 event at the Northwest Pad. 

The City and County of Broomfield accurately reported the timeline after the flare and smoke occurred as we reported it to them. However, we regret that we did not communicate sufficiently the details around the event that caused the automatic shutdown earlier in the day on Friday. 

To clarify, a valve malfunction led to an automated system shutdown, and once repaired, it was the subsequent ‘start-up’ action that created the flash and black smoke plume at the Northwest B Pad. More specifically, field crews were not aware that a residual amount of flowback fluid remained in a 20 to a 30-foot segment of the flowline before restarting the pad. Upon startup, that fluid was sent to the combustor in accordance with the facility process design, and the burning of that liquid at start-up caused the heavy, black smoke.

By the end of the day on Monday, January 24, we will be providing a full root cause analysis of the specific event and details of the comprehensive procedural changes in operations to minimize the risk of a recurrence, as well as an enhanced notification protocol. This approach, I hope, will provide a higher level of communication, transparency, and accountability moving forward. 

Again, I wanted to extend our sincere regrets for the alarm and fear caused by the restart of this facility. We certainly understand the heightened sensitivity in light of the recent devastation caused by the Marshall Fire.

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